Q24N (DW) Latin American leaders met with Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva on Monday, as the Brazilian president settled into his first day in office to the news that stocks had fallen more than 3%, led by a selloff of shares in state-run oil company Petrobras.
With Lula keen on prioritizing social issues and a decision to extend a fuel tax exemption, which will deprive the Treasury of 52.9 billion reals (US$9.9 billion, €9.24 billion) a year in fiscal income, Brazil’s Finance Minister Fernando Haddad attempted to dispel market fears that he might not maintain fiscal discipline. “We are not here for adventures,” he said.
Fighting Amazon deforestation a Lula priority
President Lula has said his priorities are fighting poverty, as well as investing in education and health.
He has also said he will bring illegal deforestation of the Amazon to an end. As he saw off his predecessor Jair Bolsonaro, in a tensely fought election, Lula sought support from political moderates to form a broad front, then tapped some of them to serve in his Cabinet.
In the first half of the day on Monday, he met with Argentinian President Alberto Fernandez, Bolivia’s Luis Arce and Guillermo Lasso of Ecuador. Later on Monday he is slated to sit down with Chile’s Gabriel Boric and Colombia’s Gustavo Petro. Other senior political figures also traveled to the Brazilian capital of Brasilia on Sunday, such as Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, to congratulate Lula on his inauguration.
On Monday afternoon, Lula is meeting with Wang Qishan, the vice president of China, by far Brazil’s biggest export destination.
Lula, who took office on Sunday, January 1, 2023, was sworn in for his third term as president of Brazil. He narrowly defeated the outgoing far-right leader Jair Bolsonaro in last October’s election run-off. Lula vows to uphold the law and rebuild the economy.